Eaton Police Chief resigns

By Kelsey Kimbler -

EATON — Chad DePew has been police chief for the City of Eaton for just shy of seven years, but he recently issued his resignation and accepted a position with the Kettering Health Network/Grandview Medical Center Police Department.

DePew’s official last day with the city will be Friday, Jan. 19, and he will start with Kettering on Friday, Jan. 26.

To find a replacement, the department is looking both internally and externally, though Chief DePew is hopeful one of his two sergeants will be chosen.

“I accepted a position with Kettering Health Network/Grandview Medical Center Police Department to be the Major of the Police Department there,” he explained. “They’re going through some organizational changes there. They recently hired a new chief and were looking to fill the Major position and I was fortunate enough to get that spot. I will be based out of Grandview Hospital in Dayton.

“Now, there are Grandview Police Officers in the Preble County Emergency Room and I will be directly managing them, but that is only one of the locations that I will be managing. There are currently seven different Kettering Health Network facilities that have the Grandview Medical Center Police in them and I will be overseeing all of those.”

Chief DePew explained, he was interested in the position because of his experiences with the Kettering Emergency Room in Preble County.

“Kettering Health Network is just a great organization. It really opened my mind since the Kettering ER opened here in Eaton. I’ve been able to foster relationships with some of the police officers there and it’s been incredible to see the positive influence they have over the community. They have always presented themselves as a really good organization,” DePew said.

“This change is going to be a major challenge for me, which is part of what makes it so exciting. That is what I have always loved about being a Police Chief in Eaton — every day is different and there are challenges that come up all the time. I think the new position will be the same way. There will be a major learning curve, going from what is a public organization here in Eaton to a private organization. There are key differences there.”

Not only is Chief DePew leaving to work with Kettering Health Network, but he has also accepted a position as an adjunct professor at Sinclair Community College, where he will be teaching Criminal Justice.

While DePew has been Police Chief with Eaton for seven years, he has been working with the department for 15 years. He started as a police officer in 2002, became a sergeant in 2006, and moved up to chief in 2011.

He added, “Eaton has turned out to be such a wonderful thing for me and for my family. When I came here I was young — I was 22 — and was applying to a lot of places. Frankly, I didn’t know that Eaton was even hiring. A friend of mine came to me and suggested applying to Eaton. I applied here on a whim and got hired and I just loved it.

“Things really took me for surprise. I grew up in Montgomery County, so Eaton wasn’t even on my radar, but I got hired and just fell in love with the community. So an opportunity I didn’t even know existed turned out to be life changing for me. It has been a tremendous time for me, which makes it so hard to walk away. I am certainly not leaving here for something better. I have an awesome opportunity with Kettering, but I know I’m leaving an awesome organization. It makes it bittersweet.”

“The majority of our department was here when I started 15 years ago,” DePew said. “So I’ve known them for a long time. It is hard to not come in and see them every day. I know a lot of people in the community, so I will miss a lot of them and a lot of the organizations. It was a really tough decision to make to leave. Frankly, it was a couple weeks in the making. I wanted to make sure I was doing the right thing. Making the decision to walk away from such a good thing here was very difficult.

“I believe Kettering is a wonderful opportunity as well, but it is bittersweet. I have loved it here and am very appreciative to the City and to the community for the time that I have been here. I want to thank the city, the council, all our employees here, and our community here for all the opportunities I have been given. I will certainly miss being a part of the City of Eaton.”

As for finding a new Chief for Eaton, DePew said council has two internal candidates and have placed announcements looking for new candidates to apply, but he hopes the position will be filled internally.

“After everyone gets their applications in, they hope to narrow it down to five or six of the top candidates to invite to an assessment day here. They will do some role play scenarios — like a mock presentation to City Council. They will go through various assessments to see their suitability for the job — a panel interview will be a part of that. After the assessments, sometime probably in the beginning of February the top three candidates will be invited back for an interview with the City Manager,” DePew explained.

“We have two excellent internal candidates right now. Our structure here is with chief and then two sergeants directly under chief. They are well qualified and either of them would make an excellent chief for the community. I believe that council wanted to open it up externally, not because they didn’t have faith in our two candidates, just so we can tell the community that we know for sure that we have the best person for the job.

“It won’t be my decision, obviously, but I have great faith that it will be one of our two internal candidates. They both have been here a long time, have the right education, background, and training and have shown their dedication to the police department. They both have been here longer than I have. I’m rooting for them,” DePew said.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH